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Hunter S. Thompson on Progress & Lost Causes

“Like most others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top.

At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles, a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other that kept me going.”

Hunter S. Thompson

Jack Gilbert on Handling Injustice

“To make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.”

Jack Gilbert


Found in the epic Magic Lessons podcast, episode #201. From a poem called A Brief for the Defense. Here’s that poem:

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.

Alan Watts on Vices and Naughtiness

“I have no wish to defend my ‘vices’ with propaganda, making out that they are in fact virtues which others should follow. I am only saying that I distrust people who show no sign of naughtiness or self-indulgence.”

Alan Watts

Rumi on What You Think You Want

I know that God will give me my daily bread…

When I run after what I think I want,
My days are a furnace of distress and anxiety;
If I sit in my own place of patience,
What I need flows to me,
And without any pain.

From this I understand that
What I want also wants me,
Is looking for me
And attracting me;
When it cannot attract me
Any more to go to it,
It has to come to me.

There is a great secret
In this for anyone
Who can grasp it.

Tim Jenison on Art and Technology

“There’s also this modern idea that art and technology must never meet – you know, you go to school for technology or you go to school for art, but never for both… And in the Golden Age, they were one and the same person.”

Tim Jenison


Great fk’n flick. Quite the cocktail.

Cornell West on How to do Good in America

“… and of course America is a romantic project. It’s paradiso, city on the hill and all this other mess and lies and so on. No, no, America is a very fragile democratic experiment predicated on the dispossession of the lands of indigenous peoples, the enslavement of African peoples and the subjugation of women and marginalization of gays and lesbians and it has great potential but this notion that somehow, you know, we had it all, or ever will have it all, has got to go — you have got to push it to the side. And once you push all that to the side then it tends to evacuate the language of disappointment and the language of failure and you say, ‘ok well how much have we done? how have we been able to do it? can we do more?’ well in certain situations you can’t do more; it is like trying to break dance at 75, you can’t do it anymore you were a master at 16, it’s over. You cannot make love at 80 the way you did at 20, so what? Time is real.”

Cornell West

It is absolutely possible…

I don’t know if this happens to you, but when I get a good email, something from someone who my work has helped, I don’t ever really let it feel… i don’t know… good.

I see how much better it could have been. I say to myself, “well it’s not as good as that thing over there, or that thing that she/he made. THAT is good.”

Today I got an email and I didn’t deflect like that. It just felt… good.

It was probably because it’s from David. Fucking David.

It’s also probably because of the last image he used.

So I’m putting it here for posterity sake. Send me a link to this some time to remind me, would you?

Here’s the email in full: